I was an orientation week advisor my junior and senior years of college, which meant each year, my co-advisors and I led a group of 8 freshman through all the O-week activities in sweltering Texas-in-August heat.
Although each O-week group was meant to be a little family for the week of orientation activities, the idea was that the family ties would continue past O-week and become a support group for the rest of the year. Does it surprise you that I took serious responsibility in showing the love for my groups through baked goods? No? Huh.
Although each of my 16 freshman hold a special place in my heart, there were some difficult ones. Namely, one that didn’t like chocolate. She was a total vanilla person. Completely.
Needless to say, I had to get out of my comfort zone.
One of the things she DID like and actually requested, was cornbread. By now, you’d think I’d be an expert…but at the time, I made two fatal mistakes. I decided to put sprinkles in the batter, for funfetti cornbread and I was out of eggs, so I subbed in flax eggs. Two moves that seemed like a great idea at the time.
The greatness of those idea was quickly rescinded when I saw the look on her face as she took her first bite. Could it really be that bad? Someone else took a bite and was like, “Valerie really loves you for eating that.” I tried it. It was that bad.
To this day, I don’t know what went so horribly wrong, but it didn’t taste remotely like cornbread. My entire O-week group cracked up. I nearly died.
After that experience, I was scarred from using flax eggs for a long time. But I put aside my fear to experiment with these pancakes. I wanted a nice, plain, not-too-buttery pancake to serve as the backdrop for these cookie-studded pancakes, and turned to my go-to vegan pancake recipe by vegan goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
I loved the results. I used powdered sugar instead of regular sugar for more puff, removed some excess flour and water and lowered the oil a tad. I crumbled in some vegan homemade chocolate wafers (I veganized these) I’d made for another project. They were thick, marbled with cookie and tender. And they didn’t taste a THING like flax.
What the heck is a flax egg? A flax egg is a type of egg replacer:
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water = 1 egg
Typically, the mixture is supposed to thicken a bit, but if the mixture ends up simply separating, just whisk it again before you add it to the recipe. I’ve found I get the best results using warm water rather than cold, but I think it works either way. Isa doesn’t quite use flax eggs here in the traditional way that I learned, but it definitely worked!
Recipe subs: Theoretically, you can sub in one egg for the flaxseed. I can’t vouch for these results. It might make the pancake a little richer or denser, and my objective was to make a neutral vanilla backdrop that would serve as the “cream” in the pancakes. I don’t care if that doesn’t make any sense. I think using all all-purpose flour would make for more aesthetically pleasing pancakes, but you can hardly taste the white whole wheat.
You do not, of course, have to use homemade chocolate wafers for these. If you crumble up a few regular oreos into these–guess what? They’re still vegan!
Vegan Cookies ‘n Cream Pancakes
Adapted from PPK
Yield: ~14 small pancakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 scant tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~6-8 oreos or homemade chocolate wafers, for crushing and sprinkling
In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center.
Measure the milk into a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Add vinegar and ground flax seeds, and use a fork to whisk until foamy. This will take a minute or so.
Pour the milk mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the water, canola oil and vanilla and use a fork to mix until you get a thick, lumpy batter. Fold in crushed oreos or homemade wafers.
Preheat a pan over medium-low heat and let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
Lightly grease the pan with oil. Add 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until puffed and taut-looking at the edges. Flip the pancakes, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pancake should be about an inch thick, and golden brown. Top with a powdered sugar glaze, syrup, honey, cream cheese frosting, whatever floats your boat. And more crumbled cookies, of course!
These pancakes, in particular, are best the day they are served.
See my other Pancake Fridays!
Pancake Fridays: Basic Dutch Baby
Pancake Fridays: Cornbread Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Lemon Bar Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Peanut Butter Carrot Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Pie Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Pumpkin Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Red Velvet Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Tarte Tatin Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Tres Leches Pancakes
Pancake Fridays: Whole Wheat Pear and Chocolate Pancakes